Obama Says He'll Veto the GOP's Abortion Bill

A year and a half after the president signed his major health-reform initiative, a dispute lingers over abortion and insurance

Obama walking to through columns - Jason Reed Reuters - banner.jpg

President Obama threatened on Wednesday to veto any bill that would restrict insurers from paying for abortions, saying it goes too far.

"Longstanding federal policy prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered," the White House said in a statement.

"The Affordable Care Act preserved this prohibition and included policies to ensure that federal funding is segregated from any private dollars used to fund abortions for which federal funding is prohibited."

The House is scheduled to take up the bill on Thursday. This bill, like the other antiabortion legislation passed earlier this year, will almost certainly pass the House but won't get anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Senate Republicans have even failed to force a floor vote on any of the House-passed antiabortion legislation, including a bill from Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) that permanently bans the use of federal funds for abortions. Instead, these pieces of legislation are negotiating chips Republicans can potentially attach to must-pass bills.

"It seems like whenever there's a lull in the action, the House brings out some antiwoman thing," Judy Waxman, vice president of health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center, said in an interview. "They now have a whole list of antiwoman legislation they have in their back pocket passed by the House ... and they really do intend to attach to some pieces of legislation that must pass."

And that's exactly what antiabortion advocates would like to see.

"That's the question that we are currently asking. We are looking over at the Senate, to those who said, 'You didn't believe in public funding in abortion. Now's your chance to codify it,' " Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in an interview. "It'll be a gut check for the Republican leadership whether it gets to the floor for a vote."

But the bill "goes well beyond the safeguards found in current law," the White House said.

Image credit: Jason Reed/Reuters

Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Politics

Just In